Relatively short sticks were traditionally used for hunting and fighting and are customarily called knobkerries. The name refers to the characteristic spherical knob of wood or head atop a cylindrical shaft. The knobs were decorated with copper or brass studs or carved in various shapes and forms. Even though their basic shapes were derived from real weapons, many of these precious objects were rarely if ever used as such. Highly personal, they instead functioned as ceremonial display items or regalia, symbolizing the masculinity and prowess of their owner.
Cleveland Museum of Art, (4/16/11-2/26/12); "The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa" cat. no. 46